May 29, 2020 3:54 PM
Wisterias & Storms in Mass Effect
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She clings back just as hard. 

"What the fuck are you doing here? He said this was Cerberus. Did Hackett send you? Anderson?" 

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"I - no. They swept everything under the rug, Rom. The Reapers are still coming. And there were rumors that the Shadow Broker had your body. I couldn't just ignore that. Cerberus offered me a place here, I couldn't refuse. Not after everything."

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Her arms slipped back from him, like they'd stopped working. Kaidan. Kaidan was Cerberus? No, no, god no. Dependable, stable, never-changing Kaidan was Alliance, like his dad. Like Jas. Like Zelda-

"Okay...I think I'm still dead. And in Hell. Because there is no way-" Romy cuts herself off to scrub at her face. "Okay, well, as every one keeps fucking saying, we don't have time. I'll...eviscerate something later. Leaving? Yes?" 

If she doesn't make eye contact with Kaidan through all of that, well. Self preservation is important. 

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She's right, they'll talk about it later.

"Where is Athena? She said you were on your way - together."

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"We need to get to the shuttle now. Less talk more shooting!"

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"If Operative Lawson's your Athena, Chief Officer Wilson here separated us. Said she was working for the Broker." 

Unfortunately for Wilson, Romy can multitask. She can blab, shoot, and have an internalised breakdown. 

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Kaidan charges up his biotics and Pulls one of the coming mechs into line with one of Shepard's shots.

"There has to be something else going on. Athena would never work for the Broker. She's spent two years rebuilding you. Without her you'd still be dead."

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A shot sounds for behind them and Wilson falls down, dead.

"I didn't know you thought so highly of me, Operative Alenko."

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She's sure she should be focusing on something else, probably Wilson dead, or Kaidan and Lawson definitely both being actual Cerberus, but the only thing she can focus on aside from pulling the trigger is-

"Two years?"

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Kaidan throws up a biotic shield around them, blocking them from fire form the mechs and possibly Athena.

"You were dead, Romy."

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Athena moves forward to finish the job and disable the remaining mechs.

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"Kaidan, who else knows that I'm alive? Or that Cerberus was trying to...bring me back?"

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"Liara was the one that rescued you from the Shadow Broker. And Joker came on just after me."

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"That wasn't what I was asking, Kaidan, and you know it." 

Something blue rippled around Romy, making her start. "Right. Biotics. Fun. Lose two years and probably my whole fucking family, but it's fine, I GLOW NOW."

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"I couldn't. There was never any guarantee that they would be able to bring you back. I couldn't give them that hope only to just snatch it away if Cerberus failed. And they would have wanted to join me. I will damn myself for working with Cerberus, but I could never drag your siblings down with me."

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Funny how much easy this would be to take if they were both in Alliance blues. Blue is soothing isn't it? Or is that the one that makes you hungry. And there it is, the spiral. Great. 

"Lawson? We leaving yet?" Romy's voice sounds as brittle as she feels, but hey. No one's expecting Commander Shepard to sound great after her whole world is gone. 

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All the mechs are smashed to pieces at her feet and Athena stands with her back to them, working on the door terminal. "You two are done having a tearful reunion? Get in the shuttle. We're leaving."

The door swooshes open, revealing one single shuttle.

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She doesn't ask if they're waiting for anyone else, she watched them all get gunned down. 

Instead she holsters her gun, makes her way inside, and sits. 

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Kaidan follows close after her.

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And Athena takes the pilot's seat and gets them the hell out of there. Once they are clear of the station, she presses the self the destruct. Behind them the station explodes into bright destructive space junk. Then she sets their course on the autopilot.

She turns to Shepard and gets straight into business. "I need to ask you some questions. To evaluate your condition."

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"Athena. This can wait."

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"No. This can not wait."

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"This may not be the Alliance, Operative Alenko, but I'm pretty sure I outrank you still. Be quiet."

She waves at Lawson. "Go ahead." 

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"These questions are to access whether your personality and memory are still intact. Answer truthfully and fully. About your family. Tell me their names."

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Her family that doesn't even know she's alive. Jesus. That hurt like a punch to the chest.

"Mother is Captain Hannah Shepard. Oldest sister is Zelda Shepard, former paramilitary. Used to lead up a biotics squad. Lt Commander Jaswinder Shepard, Biotic Corps. Private Balthasar Shepard, Engineer Division. And Naoki Shepard. I 'don't know what he's doing'." 

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